Questions tagged [estimation]

Estimation is the process of finding an estimate, or approximation, which is a value that is usable for some purpose even if input data may be incomplete, uncertain, or unstable.

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6answers
10k views

How many user stories per person should be completed per sprint? [closed]

Just ran across this figure, and wondering if there's another well know source than would help confirm these numbers: Based on data I analyzed on successfully finished sprints, I determined that a ...
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6answers
26k views

What's the best explanation of what Story Points are?

We're starting to use Story Points here for our Agile development but I find it hard to explain and also can't find any definitive answer to what they are. The best thing I can do is point to other ...
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0answers
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Trying to understand NIC receive / send operations per second estimations for non-abstract system design

I am working through resources related to non-abstract large scale system design. I'm working through the google system design exercise in this video. In the example solution presented, a calculation ...
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3answers
117 views

What is the practicality of asking vendor to not include a specially developed feature in their standard package offering

I don't know if this is the right place to post this sort of question, so feel free to move it. Lets say that Vendor X is selling a certain software package. There are also other competitors, ...
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2answers
316 views

Is comparing “dollar-hours” for running a specific piece of code practical as an estimate of rented system performance?

Background: there'a a gazillion types of virtual machines in Microsoft Azure each having different performance and price. Such virtual machines are paid per hour. The goal is to decide how to get "the ...
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3answers
338 views

How to determine the cost of a story point?

How can I determine the monetary cost of a user story point in a given team? I was asked this question recently since the business is interested in determining how much a given project could cost ...
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1answer
86 views

How does COCOMO handle large projects that could be split up into smaller projects?

Let's say I want to use COCOMO to estimate the effort to produce a 100 KLoC embedded project. Not including the Effort Adjustment Factor, the effort would be 2.8 * 100^1.2 = 703. However, the project ...
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1answer
110 views

Develop Windows based application with 1/10th milisecond precision

I want to develop a Windows based application that would interface with external hardware using serial communication. The hardware would in turn relay back the feedback to the application. This entire ...
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5answers
926 views

Do Story Point sizes for repetitive tasks change after you automate the task?

Here's the Scrum situation: A certain task (implement a back end populated data table) is a frequent story The tables frequently have similar but custom functionality Each table takes about a week to ...
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3answers
191 views

What are the disadvantages of performing task breakdown before story estimation?

I have trouble with some of this jargon so I apologize if I misuse some of it. In my past experiences Story Estimation (planning poker estimating how difficult/complex certain tasks will be with ...
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1answer
180 views

Why does Halstead's formula for estimated program length look like this?

According to the Halstead's software metrics: Estimated program length: Can you please explain me, why the formula uses logarithm to base 2? Why not something else? Why exactly logarithm? What’s ...
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2answers
168 views

Effective method of estimation when dealing with large code bases

Got a largish legacy Java code base at my hands: ~100k LoC ~1100 classes monolithic and cohesive (no "modules" or so) many OOP abstraction layers almost no comments, etc. The task is to produce time ...
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5answers
2k views

How to communicate a SWAG estimate

I support a large enterprise software project which frequently receives enhancement requests from our customer. The customer will only pay for the work up front in fixed-price contracts. We provide a ...
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6answers
425 views

In scrum, how do you give an estimate for a backlog item that is primarily research?

A few sprints ago I was assigned a task that was primarily research. I had to figure out how to get our product to interoperate with a very complex black box that we did not develop. I couldn't ...
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2answers
181 views

Is there a reason to use specifically fibonacci sequence in planning poker? [duplicate]

I've noted that fibonacci sequence is quite popular in planning poker, but is it a reason for that particular sequence? Wouldn't for example powers of 2 work equally well? Both sequences are more or ...
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3answers
762 views

In scrum, if tasks are estimated in hours, how to avoid assigning the task in sprint planning?

I've been reading up a lot on the subject, and from what I can gather the following statements 'should' be true in scrum: 1) Estimate user stories in story points at the product backlog level. This ...
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2answers
225 views

Assigning story points to the hypothesis in the backlog [closed]

We have been using Scrum as our project management platform for a while, now we are moving toward Lean UX and hypothesis driven development practices. We are using Poker planning to determine the ...
2
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2answers
400 views

How to determine SWAG estimate for development project before having a team

Here's my dilemma... I need to provide a rough order of magnitude estimate for development time of a system that we know the requirements (story map created) however we don't yet have a technical team ...
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5answers
4k views

Should you ever re-estimate user stories?

My current project is having a 'discussion' which is split down the middle- "this story is more complex than we originally thought, we should re-estimate" vs "you should never re-estimate as you only ...
57
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5answers
3k views

How can you estimate time for tasks which primarily consist of figuring out a problem?

While it is relatively possible for an experienced developer to estimate how long it will take to implement code when the pattern and problem the code is solving is well understood, how can you make a ...
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4answers
629 views

If story points are about time, what is truly the benefit of using them?

Quoting the known Mike Cohn: The primary reason for estimating product backlog items is so that predictions can be made about how much functionality can be delivered by what date. If we want to ...
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5answers
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Should individual ability be considered in story points?

My understanding of story estimation has been that one should estimate the size of a story as it would be for an imaginary, average developer — a bit like the "reasonable bystander" concept in law. ...
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3answers
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Is it proper to have Investigation task in sprint

I have been practicing agile for more than a year now. As part of our sprint, some times we will have Investigation Tasks. We skip poker planning for theses tasks, and adds blanket numbers. Theses ...
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2answers
118 views

Estimating Projects which are still unclear [duplicate]

The title says it all really. If asked to produce an estimate for a project when is still very unclear what the system is, what do you do? Would you refuse to provide an estimate? Or inflate it ...
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3answers
1k views

Normalizing story points across teams, is there a big problem?

We have been thinking about comparing product size/effort at least roughly and this is what some suggested: There are multiple products, each with one scrum team All the scrum teams estimate their ...
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1answer
272 views

In your first meeting with a client, which questions do you ask to help you understand how best to design the software? [closed]

ABOUT: My business partner and I have been building websites for small businesses since we began our company. Out of the blue, we were approached by an HR company to provide a quote for a software ...
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1answer
481 views

How to do an estimation of needed CPU cores and memory from specifications?

So my client asked me to provide a rough estimate of a number of CPU cores and the needed memory for a specific project I'm working on. But the project is complex, is different from anything I've been ...
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1answer
41 views

About Effort estimations value and usuability

We had a discussion about the real value of effort estimation (EE) for SW development tasks, and I like to get some feedback from the community. The major questions in hand are: Should R&D team ...
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4answers
931 views

Is using KLOC just to normalize size of projects still bad? [closed]

I know many despise KLOC as some managers attempt to correlate that with productivity. But when we speak only comparing sizes of projects using the same languages and coding standards as well as the ...
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2answers
119 views

Can story points be used to describe size of several projects estimated by several teams?

KLOC has been - I think justly - criticized as too inaccurate to express size when comparing several projects. In only one source I found a calculation that uses Story Points and thus allow to compare ...
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3answers
504 views

How to handle a user story that is significantly larger than estimated

A user story calls for an extension to a current feature. This is reviewed and discussed in planning and given a small/medium point value. Internally within the team the effort is estimated at 2 to 3 ...
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14answers
11k views

How to learn to make better estimates? [closed]

I suck at estimates. When someone asks me how long something will take, I don't even dare to make a guess since I will be completely off the mark. Usually I'm way too optimistic, and should probably ...
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3answers
249 views

How do you set a reasonable time-limit on some exploratory mission?

Given some legacy module in a ten year old project, where you have seen none of the code and not used the application, how long will it take you to grok 10000 lines of code from that module? The ...
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10answers
3k views

How do you deal with time estimates? [duplicate]

If given too little time, quality suffers. If given too much time, developers will find a way to use all alloted time, no matter what. What would be a good way with dealing with estimates? Are they a ...
41
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7answers
9k views

How to explain that it's hard to estimate the time required for a bigger software project?

I'm a junior developer and I find it hard to estimate how much time it takes to finish a bigger software project. I know how to structure the architecture in general, but it's hard for me to know what ...
683
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17answers
230k views

How to respond when you are asked for an estimate?

We, as programmers, are constantly being asked 'How long will it take'? And you know, the situation is almost always like this: The requirements are unclear. Nobody has done an in depth analysis of ...
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2answers
112 views

How to ensure that solution will be delivered in time in accordance with the estimates?

Very often developers are asked to provide estimates (at least rough ones) when a solution or feature will be ready. What steps development team should take to ensure that estimated solution will be ...
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7answers
3k views

Team is estimating story points, business wants actual time

I'm sure this is not an uncommon theme. We have two scrum teams that are doing an okay job of estimating user stories using story points (the current team constellations are only about 8 months old, ...
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11answers
15k views

Is DRY the enemy of software project management?

One of the most basic and widely accepted principles of software development is DRY (don't repeat yourself). It is also clear that most software projects require some kind of management. Now what are ...
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3answers
415 views

How consistent can estimates be expected to be?

I recently did some statistics on the estimates of our two scrum teams. These graphs plot "original estimate" against "actual time spent" (note that logging time spent is much less objectionable, in ...
6
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3answers
257 views

Scrum: Should Irregular Events Be Estimated?

Should a Scrum team estimate irregular, planned events, such as an overview/demo to new users and potential customers? Our team is pretty small, so the effort to prepare for and conduct these events ...
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3answers
87 views

How to write user stories for just one acceptance test?

In an interesting Twitter thread, Ron Jeffries (signer of the original Agile Manifesto) is suggesting that all user stories should be broken down so that they have one, and only one, acceptance test. ...
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0answers
90 views

How does the chance of project failure relate to project size? [closed]

A long time ago I learned that big projects are more likely to fail. One empirical study defined failure as "no line of code used in production". All the studies I know are decades old. In the hope ...
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2answers
4k views

Scrum: Baseline story for point estimation

To estimate PBIs you need to choose an average story and assign it a number of points (for example 5). Then you compare all other stories to that story and assign points accordingly. My question is, ...
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2answers
153 views

How do you deal with the effort to implement a basic architecture/infrastructure for your first feature

When we start a new project with scrum with estimate user stories with points. These points mean we are busy in the sprint. Now there is work to do initially at project start like: Create git repo ...
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2answers
231 views

Using commit messages for time tracking

Some products can parse a special syntax in commit messages to extract additional data, such at time tracking information: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/FISHEYE/Using+smart+commits To me, ...
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6answers
1k views

How do you cope with a team who tends to underestimate time needed to complete tasks?

How do you cope with a team who tends to underestimate time needed to complete tasks and haven't been improving the accuracy of their estimates? Details: I work in a scrum team (7 engineers) in a ...
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4answers
2k views

If a story is de-scoped during the iteration then what to do with its estimate/size?

Sometimes we change user story scope to complete it during the iteration. For example, Original story (8 points): As a user i want to save my data as PDF. De-Scoped story: As a user i want to save ...
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3answers
4k views

Should we estimate tasks during backlog grooming?

I was just taken by surprise in a backlog grooming meeting when we assigned time estimates to BA, dev, and QA tasks...but the story is not yet scheduled in any sprint and we are not yet assigning ...
2
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2answers
995 views

What is the significance of 10 characters in this Uncle Bob post?

In this blog posting by Uncle Bob http://blog.8thlight.com/uncle-bob/2012/04/20/Why-Is-Estimating-So-Hard.html Author states a possible solution to the problem at hand. He writes "Try this. Break ...

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